In a bid to reduce hospital-acquired infections, Senator Richard T. Moore (D) of Massachusetts has filed legislation that would require all state hospitals to publicly report hospital-acquired infection rates as early as next year. According to the Boston Globe, the law calls for "mandatory education for healthcare workers and penalties for employees and facilities that don't comply with infection prevention measures, which health officials are developing." Regulators hope to lower infection rates to zero by training hospital staff to focus on preventing infections. Several other states, including Pennsylvania and Missouri, also have infection reporting requirements.
Because there are currently no reporting requirements, no exact numbers are available on the toll these infections take both on patient health and healthcare costs. However, the CDC estimates treating hospital-acquired infections costs roughly $25,000 to treat, and 12 to 25 percent of patients who contract an infection die from it.
For more on the new bill:
- read this report